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Smoking With Jai Clare

Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette
""Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette"
by Vincent Van Gogh
Bubbles to the waterway, waterway to stream, to brook, brook races off rock, through fords to rivers, the river slow, wind-scurried, reed-filled, bird-heard, past boats and fields and marshes and lost tumble-down houses to vastness of sea widening to the horizon of sky. What a glorious sentence. Your whole piece is full with rich, musical sentences like this one. Do you “hear” the words as they come to you? Is reading your work aloud part of the process?
I do hear them yes. I can’t get into a story or a piece till I hear that tone or that effect in my head. When I do I can then run with it, hope I don’t lose it! And yes I read aloud. But my head is pretty good these days for hearing the rhythms of a piece.

Speaking of process, we’d love to know more about it. Did “Memory of Sky” come from an image, a phrase you heard? Did you sit down to your computer or did you write it out by hand?
I wrote it by hand from a prompt in a workshop concerning moving from dark to light in terms of winter/spring. I was so unsure of it at first that I refused to read it out! It wasn’t till I sat down and assimilated it, tweaked it that I felt able to let anyone else read it.

You also run a literary blog—do you see blogging as necessary to writers in these times?
Well I don’t think it is. BUT if you want to help your name get out there then why not? I have no idea if it helps or hinders me but I like being able to say what I want to say in my own environment. That said lately I have been erratic due to work and phd pressures. The next year will probably be even worse. I think we have to do anything to help ourselves in this increasing world of writer professionalization.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing lyrics first for a band I was in. A very bad band. Then started writing poetry and loved it. Fortunately for poetry the poetry muse left me and I began writing fiction. This was quite early on – about 20 I guess though back then no one pushed this getting published thing. The internet has changed everything in terms of opportunities, contacts, dissemination of knowledge. If I were starting now how much more I would know than I did back then, if that makes any sense!

Time for the first (and perhaps only) SLQ deserted island
questionnaire. One CD. One novel. One flash piece. One movie. One very much alive famous person. One very much alive writer. One SLQ editor with the initials R.B.. Go!

Novel: Alexandria Quartet - Lawrence Durrell – 4 novels as one – bliss. A brilliant brilliant book.

Flash piece: cripes. Ok The Solipsist by Frederic brown. Love it. In the days before flash fiction was so named. Lots of good people working in this area though. But I’m heading more into prose poetry territory these days which IS different to FF.

One alive famous person: PJ Harvey or utterly different -Nelson Mandela

Alive writer: Jeanette Winterson

Read Memory of Sky.
Issue Thirteen (June 15, 2006): A Foreign Woman by Roberta Allen «» Fetichismo by Christopher Battle «» How the Broken Lead the Blind Until They Both Become Something Else Entirely by Matt Bell «» See Odi Naked by Lisa K. Buchanan «» Memory of Sky by Jai Clare «» The Captain by Ron Currie, Jr. «» Bingham by Steve Cushman «» The Table by David Erlewine «» Daffodil by Kathy Fish «» Fishing by Mike Hagemann «» Real Estate by Jennifer A. Howard «» Emily Avenue by Jeff Landon «» Tough Act by Steven J. McDermott «» Cheering by Srdan Papic «» Something Blew by Ellen Parker «» Euclid's Elements by Mary Lynn Reed «» Miracle by Chad Simpson «» Her Lips by Claudia Smith «» Man and Dog by Girija Tropp «» Randomization by Joseph Young «» Interviews: Roberta Allen «» Matt Bell «» Lisa K. Buchanan «» Jai Clare «» Ron Currie, Jr. «» Steve Cushman «» Katrina Denza «» David Erlewine «» Kathy Fish «» Mike Hagemann «» Jennifer A. Howard «» Jeff Landon «» Steven J. McDermott «» Srdan Papic «» Ellen Parker «» Mary Lynn Reed «» Chad Simpson «» Claudia Smith «» Girija Tropp «» Joseph Young «» Cover Art "Despair" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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